Examine Beliefs

Sometimes, our beliefs fall out of line with the facts and data. This can impact our ability to recognize realities such as who is at risk of HIV transmission, and how to help them to protect themselves.

Medicine, Sex and Religion

Religion and sexuality are often placed on opposite sides of the moral spectrum. In some cases, a community’s religious beliefs prevent individuals from seeking out or accessing adequate health care.

This can happen because of certain medical practices such as blood transfusion, vaccination and contraception being perceived as counter to a culture’s belief. Instead, prayer or worship may be seen as the “correct” action. However, religion and spirituality can also play major and positive roles in people’s lives. Thus, they cannot be dismissed when we seek to provide effective, quality healthcare services. 

What You Can Do:

Never be afraid to question your own beliefs about the world or examine why you hold them. 


Spirituality & Beliefs

How can beliefs & religion impact HIV transmission? Both religious and non-religious people commonly hold the belief that religion prevents higher-risk sexual behavior. However, an analysis of more than fifty studies found that individuals living in religious environments don’t necessarily have less sex, fewer partners, lower pregnancy rates, or use contraceptives more compared to people in non-religious environments. 

The belief that “religion = abstinence” creates a false view of certain groups’ HIV risk exposure. Hence, the presence of religion in a community of individual’s life can mean opportunities for treatment and protection may be missed.


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